Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Beginning of My Farewell Process.

Labor Day Weekend Play-by-Play:
  1. My mom flies down for the weekend from Sunny Cleveland, Ohio.
  2. I got to finish building my fixed mtb at ProBikes, when, suddenly, a dozen or so goofballs come in to help Sharma Michael build up his adult-sized big wheels. We drink beer and scavenge up old friction shifters, cranks, pedals, etc. Most are 8-spd, we test ride them, we are excited.
  3. Most of those same goof-balls relocate a few hours later for a house party at Juts. It's an awesome house party.
  4. I find myself on the front porch with some guy, and the conversation goes like this
Guy: "Used to be French Broad was the only beer served at LAAFF, but they've since
broadened the selection."
Me: "French Broadened, if you will."
Guy: "No, I mean, you can get other breweries' beers there now."
Me: "Oh." Refill cup. Walk back inside to the white-kid dance party.
5. Saturday. Recover from Jut's, go for a local 'cross loop. Love it. Take my mom on a field
trip to visit my friend Meredith at Maple Creek Farm, the southern-most maple syrup
production. We eat quiche and other delicious dishes.
6. I ride Bent Creek with Ryan Fisher, who is the jam, and the source of my using of the
phrase "the jam." Hadn't seen him in almost a year, we catch up, we say goodbye.
7. LAAFF! We race those bigwheels. The kids love it. The adults love it. We talk shit. Ol' pal
A.J. runs over my foot, I'm waiting for my toe-nail to fall off, but it hasn't happened yet.
Otto wins it all. We give our praises to Michael for being a genius. Here's some pictures:

Kyley Cross vs. Kylie Krauss. Keep it straight.

Otto vs. Adam. Hot damn. HottoAdamn. Or Something

Adam in the lead, right before Otto tears his soul out.

Small child in tires, smoking a stogey, apparently.
8. Shanna and Marshall host a post-LAAFF gathering, we bike around, keep Gabe from
partaking in a fist-fight, watch a music video from Major Lazer, it is amazing. We test the
boys' Ape-Indexes. Sean wins by, like, 6 inches.

Photo and special effects courtesy of Mac Hager

9. It turns into Monday, I say goodbye to my Mom, 'til next time. Do a low-key ride in Bent
Creek. A few of us gather to eat burritoes. Suddenly, it's back to a normal work-week.

Except that it's not. I found out sometime before Labor Day that I got a job in Bellingham, WA, which I promptly and confidently accepted, before realizing that accepting a job in Bellingham is a little different than accepting a job downtown. Longer commute for one. Anyway, looks like I'm moving...in, uh, two weeks. Paking up, heading out, it'll be good. I will sorely miss Asheville and the reason why Asheville is so amazing (i.e. the people, the bike riding, it being beer city usa #1, and it being generous enough to share that title with another city of somewhat lesser coolness and sunshine...) I've actually made up a little triad of happiness that is a graphical summary of my love for Asheville. It looks like this:

Skipped work on Wednesday to hike Linville with Ohio Rob. It was awesome...so pretty, the Sassafras and Sumac are already turning red...subtle hints of fall. It rained on us twice, and stoped raining on us twice. We ate cheese and summer sausage and figs.

This past weekend, we celebrated Lexy's upgrading to Expert after winning times a million at BMX grandes. Slap him on the back, or on top of his full-face, next time you see him. Then rode Laurel-Pilot-Slate with Beth, and a round-about way up to Farlow, which was awesome...and there was huge group of good people on that ride. Four hours of riding later, we headed over to Beth's for a cook-out, which, again, is reiterating the fact that these people, these mountain, these Kosher hotdogs washed down with PBR are what I love about Asheville.

Shoot! I'm a sap-ass.

Two more weeks of living it up in the best (and oldest!! Booyah!) mountains in the world.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

General Emptiness

I've been making a tough time of it lately, in my own stupid head. Not enjoying things as much as my horoscope is telling me I will in the forthcoming weeks (or something), a little disappointed that its dark when my alarm goes off now, a little nervous about what I'm doing for a job in October, and realizing I'm still a little affected by that boy I love. Which is ridiculous, I realize, but I just kind of think he's pretty awesome in his own little way, and I kind of miss that. I've also been harshly introspective lately, and then Connor has to tell me to shut up after I already told myself that. I feel like I've been off on all fronts lately. I'm just trying to start some sort of dialogue (for myself, or you, too, if you happen to read this), and it comes across as an attack. And then, the other night, a group of us played Risk (you know, the game of world domination...) and the formation of secretive, conniving alliances and eventual back-stabbing irritated me to the point of sadness. I mean, it's only a board game, but it was like being in High School again.

I'm trying to figure out where I'm going with this, and all I can think about is something Lexy's mom said once, "All that matters is to drink beer and be nice to people."

I'm sure there are a few other things that matter, like little kids riding BMX bikes, good math education for middle schoolers, non-bleached paper products, and universal health care, but I think Mrs. Lewis says it pretty well with that quote.

Oh, and Lexy is racing at Grands this weekend. Wish him luck.

Anyway, as tends to happen anytime I find myself disillusioned and introspective, I've been riding the hell out of my bike(s). I built up a 'cross bike, with wheels and a frameset form Little e, and this is the best thing that ever happened to me (that's a parabole). Took the long way (3 1/2 hrs through the woods) from my work in Mills River over to Brevard the other day to catch up with Dan and Tina, and the pavement-gravel-singletrack-gravel-pavement palindrome that is possible (or at least more comfortable) on a 'cross bike is awesome, and opens up a whole wealth of new loops. Spent the rest of the week commuting on the townie, then rode Big Creek for the first time ever on Saturday, which is embarrasing to admit, but made for a good 4ish hour solo loop. Then Sunday, another 'cross ride incorporating the WWC trails and Montreat College's XC trails over to Pisgah Brewing for the Brew Crew's Summer Games.

And let me tell you....as we've all suspected, Jut can throw a party, and throw it well. This was the best idea for (and carry-through of) a party ever: a good showing of Asheville bike people, $1 pints of Pisgah Pale, and recess games all afternoon (wiffle ball, kickball, sack races, shit talking.) The rain held, we only talked bikes about 1/8th of the time with eachother (we do have multi-faceted personalities!), and nobody really bothered to keep score...it was awesome. I love that crowd, there are some true all-star people here in Asheville.

Keeping up with this trend of revisiting juvenile diversions, this Sunday is the Lexington Area Arts and Fun Festival and Sharma Michael is holding an adult-sized big-wheel race...I think 2-5 pm for qualifiers, and 5-6 for the actual game-face competition. I trust it's going to be amazing. You should come. Shave you legs and wear spandex, too. Get serious.

Anyway, fun times and friendships. Long solo comtemplative rides through Pisgah. People not liking what I write, me being surprised they even bother to read (much less comment!) about it. Making new friends, losing old friends, wondering why I'm not in grad school yet, wondering why I even bother half the time. Getting rejected from jobs, but having people tell me, "with all honesty, Kylie, you were one of the best candidates, and we really enjoyed interviewing you, but..." and hearing pretty much the same thing from the boy at the end of this last relationship. Funny how a relationship can so strongly affect your self-identity. (Oh, shoot...is that really how you think of me?) It's scarry, having to re-evaluate yourself, force yourself to buck up and keep being you, especially when you don't really know where you're going with yourself. I don't know what I think about any of this. I'm trying to find the balance in all of it.

I guess I'll just drink beer and be nice to people. And ride on.